mozart, blue shirt, pearls and a literary companion for a long drive south.


we’re about to get into the car and drive s o u t h as who-we-are-in-RL has a work meeting or two and we just wanted to get Out of Town as yesterday with the radio was ever so lovely but now we’re feeling a Tiny bit exposed and some quiet would be a Very good idea.

so we’ve packed the blue shirt and pearls.


and the Mozart import (from JAPAN) played by a deeply talented group from Berlin.


and the scrap of virtual paper with the most delicious sentences all put together by Mr. D. H. Lawrence:

Terra Incognita
There are vast realms of consciousness still undreamed of vast ranges of experience, like the humming on unseen harps, we know nothing of, within us.
Oh, when man has escaped from the barbed-wire entanglement
of his own ideas and his own mechanical devices
there is a marvelous rich world of contact and sheer fluid beauty
and fearless face-to-face awareness of now-naked life
and me, and you, and other men and women,
and grapes, and ghouls, and ghosts and green moonlight
and ruddy-orange limbs stirring the limbo
of the unknown air, and eyes so soft
softer than the space between the stars,
and all things, and nothing, and being and not-being
alternately palpitant
when at last we escape the barbed-wire enclosure
of Know Thyself, knowing we can never know
we can but touch, and wonder, and ponder, and make our effort
and dangle in a last fastidious fine delight
as the fuchsia does, dangling her reckless drop
of purple after so much putting forth
and slow mounting marvel of a little tree.

isn’t that Beautiful?

we will make like the fuchsia today.

now – sadly – we can’t take you with us – we need to Concentrate and so won’t be posting until tomorrow evening, late’ish.

so here’s some music to be going on with:

we were Most Particularly inspired by the tale over at Beguiling Hollywood this morning in which Ms. Vickie Lester discusses satiny slips and Ms. N. Simone and so instantly popped back to our Playlist and added in some lyrical-loveliness from the aforementioned goddess (Ms. N. Simone – but if Miss Vickie Lester has released a CD of classical or jazz music, we would be Utterly Delighted to add That in too).

we are also packing a slim volume – because we do like to take a literary companion with us on any sort of a road trip – or a Trip by plane, by sea – oh! for a sea voyage – like our good friend The Sophisticate.

we’ve just finished Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s All The Roads Are Open……..


and now we embark upon Death in Persia.

because when one is setting out (in Life) on a journey that has no course, no map, few directions, perhaps not quite enough provisions or courage it Truly helps to take (as one’s literary companion at least) other Adventurous Women who have Gone out into the Unknown and lived to tell the Tale.

the magical aspect (and there are many we’re discovering) about Ms. Schwarzenbach is that it is only fairly recently that we could have read her own words.

thanks to the gifts of the bilingual and the poetic like Ms. Isabel Fargo Cole and Ms. Lucy Renner Jones.

and now we set off once again.

the sun has come up.

it’s 0757 hours over here in this part of the world.

and we have Mozart, a blue shirt, pearls and a Literary Companion in Ms. Schwarzenbach.

an adventure awaits, we feel sure *shivers*.


Portland, Oregon: home of Autumn, coders in beanie hats, great bookstores and coffee lovers


it’s really beautiful here.

this is the land where they keep the Autumnal Season (which as you know, we’d not see normally this time of year, being a Los Angeles resident).

take a look:

magnificent bookshops



with excellent staff picks (and people who stop randomly and talk to you which was a tiny bit unnerving but rather charming – we talked about Tom Robbins because, well, keep scanning down through the pictures and you’ll get the idea)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA










ok – we need to stop here – so there are lots of divine vintage dress shops here with quite remarkable 1960s and before-hand-fashions.

this emerald green satin was so beautifully shining from the racks that we bought it and no – not going to wear it as a Dress – but we’re going to slice-it-open with dressmaking shears (or, most likely, as we do not Own such implements, a local seamstress/chap will do this) and wear it as a sleeveless sort of glamorous thing over a black outfit (you saw that coming right?) for the Gala Evening at the Bookmarks in South AfricaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

back to the gloriousness of Autumn. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAisn’t it amazing here?

now we have to admit we were Bundled Up in a warm wool coat and hat at 08:35 hours this morning when Taking these last two shots – but it was worth it.

we’re also b u z z i n g from the dark embrace of caffeine – because Portland, Oregon is justifiably famous for its coffee. 

so work calls – and then a supper – before a Flight and so we Travel.

but we’d like to come back to Portland.

this has been an exceedingly nice Trip.

pearls, sunrises and storytelling.


a lovely day ahead. and another gorgeous morning sky.

what are Your plans for the day? (although we assume that you’ve already had most of it wherever in the World you are – was it a Thursday as you had hoped? or not… tell)

so, we’re working at the Photographic Studio over there *pointsvaguelytotheValley* as who-we-are-in-RL is on a consulting mission.

then there *might* be a haircut (if we can get a last minute appointment which you often Can in Koreatown and wouldn’t get anything but a shocked silence on the phone in Manhattan if one tried to do so, just so you don’t attempt it – we like to spare your *blushes*)


we *almost* forgot – who-we-are-in-RL had our piece about Highland Park published here:


and TONIGHT we’ll be at the storytelling event to cheer her on


…..although we HEARD (not necessarily on the grapevine because, well, they aren’t any round about here and we’re not sure why a Vine would tell Tales anyway) that she Won’t Be Mentioning Us.


what on EARTH is she going to talk about then?


(and we noticed that she didn’t use our moniker on the line up either – just being herself, then? hmmmm…..)

when she was Rehearsing at teamgloria towers (not “off book” but she does a nice “reading from the script” sort of on-a-bare-stage-at-the-CBS-studio circa 1966 performance), we noted that the general tone she’s preparing for the storytelling event tonight is one of a “Saloniste” – as our good friend (sadly departed) Mr. Bertrand Russell might say. 

it *might* not be Quite the Tone that the other performers decide on for themselves – but as far as we can tell from our (not really) extensive Research – she’s the only European so we do need to stand up for the team.

which is why we said “Wear the Pearls” when we had our rehearsal at home.  

a funny (well not funny-ha-ha – more funny “oh that is amusing” with a Dame. M. Smith raised eyebrow and twinkly eyed expression) story about the Pearls:

many moons ago we happened to be at a “street fair” in Greenwich Village and we spotted a beautiful set of pearls on a black velvet (we *think* it was black velvet, we might be making that bit up, perhaps it was a heavy cream silk) stand.

now the thing about Greenwich Village is two-fold – one is that nobody knows whether you’re wearing real (inherited/won in a gambling debts settling of accounts) or fake gems.

you see nobody really cares about pearls anymore in Greenwich Village (unlike on the Upper East Side where one wears a single strand and still hopes, against hopes, to be invited to Jackie Kennedy’s place for tea-with-lemon-no-sandwiches-or-cake).

so we didn’t know if they were real, or not.

the other thing (because we said it was a two-fold answer so here’s Part ii) is that “house clearances” often happen when a person of a great and wonderful age decides it is time to depart for other worlds beyond this one.

in Greenwich Village they might depart having lived in their apartment since 1951 (which means the landlords have been Agonizing over its rent control for Many Decades) and as The Village is a place for bohemians, one might well not have a family (or not have spoken to them for many a year) and so the Pearls they leave behind could be Real (and end up in a “house clearance” and thus on a black velvet or heavy cream silk stand in a Stoop Sale one early summer in the new Millennium).

we wore them for years.

someone who knows about jewels fingered them (in a not unpleasant way) and said, “oh yes, they’re real” and we just smiled winsomely.

cut to the chase.

they weren’t.

we took them all over the world (and perhaps their former owner did too) but in the past few weeks the covering on each pearl just peeled off……so we let them go to the four winds (are there really only four? it feels like so many more).

and bought some new ones.


you see there are no stoop sales with pearls in Los Angeles (that we’ve seen) so we bought these at one of those FUN shops where young ingenues in their early 20s buy Bling (and call it thus).

you’d never know.

because who-we-are-in-RL carries them off as if Nancy Mitford just turned to her at a glorious weekend in the country and said, “Do have Mine, darling girl, they’d suit you.”

but you know the truth.

at least about the pearls.


headshots, the novels of miss pym and burning sage.


so it’s here.

who-we-are-in-RL has had her Picture Done.


she was Terribly Nervous.

we like it.

we just sent it to someone who Knows Things and he said:

No bad thing, at all. Like it. Strong, centred, ‘don’t even think about it….’

and someone else this morning said:

you remind me of Fiona Shaw with that Celtic fierceness.


we adore Fiona.

who took it?

the talented Joanna Brooks no less.

we helped in doing a Pinterest board as “Inspiration” for both Joanna and for Kate Hollinshead who did our hair and make-up

if you just *clicked* on the link to Kate’s page you might have noticed a familiar picture top left.

did you?

click again.

yes – we are a small close-knit community of creative types over on This Coast.

almost a medieval guild type of arrangement from time to time.

which is delicious.

let’s take a second look.


sophiastuartheadshot72dpithe pearls are a lovely touch – and most surprising with that leather jacket (DKNY, apparently, we had hoped for a vintage something from an Italian mechanic acquaintance but that’ll do – we Adore donna karan).

now do excuse us – we must return – Barbara Pym’s letters are waiting in the room next door.


we never really discovered the Novels of Miss Pym – but when we read her Letters to Philip Larkin we just knew we needed to get to know her better. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and just to give you a sensory experience too – teamgloria towers are aromatic with the scent of sage.

this isn’t just a textual blog – you can almost scratch and sniff this one.


not literally, darling.

pack that in.


gentlemen prefer blondes – or sometimes other gentlemen…..

we are a Tiny Bit disappointed with this evening’s entertainment…………… turns out that the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes night opposite the Ziegfeld was more of a “concert performance” (no glorious sets flown in and some actors still “on book” carrying the score) and despite being set in 1924 or thereabouts, the costumes were more of the mid-50s (they flatter no one, darlings) with a bit-of-spangle-ness.
BUT! (we cannot be sad for long) – Top Marks to the Delicious Megan Hilty for an Awfully pretty and fruity rendition of Lorelei Lee. And the Very Toned dancers in the Olympiads-dancing-scene with Dorothy (don’t you just Adore an Olympian? We met one the other day – swim team – strapping lass – gorgeous tattoos) were Awfully butch and glorious.

Of course we’ve always had a passion for Anita Loos who was one Smart Cookie and a sassy brunette with a kiss curl of a bob and a million-dollar-brain.

Confession: we got the idea of an alter-ego with a cute voice and a kick-up-the-kitten-heels-and-giggle from Anita.


And the little girl at the hotel, of course

Kay Thompson was a force to be reckoned with – “not an act, more of an experience” said a critic from Variety at the time.

That sounds like a good thing to be, darlings ;)

The alter-ego is not something to hide behind, it’s something to either use while “one” is finding out whom one is becoming next. Or a “device” (as they say in the movie Studios) to let Quite the Nicest bits of oneself Develop. While one is – perhaps – waiting for the Scar to heal, the Synthroid to get stable, the cake-desire to wane (oy vey) and the green card to arrive.

If You Know What We Mean.

we nearly blew it the other day.

All tired and scratchy and grumpy, we nearly let slip in a most inappropriate way – less of a Reveal than a petulant “This is who we Are”.

Luckily there’s a delete button on the interweb.

Not so in RL.

As you know.


The letter from England? That was a Very funny one from William

Oh – the Typewriter?

We saw it at the Perry St street fair today!

It looks like something Anita Loos or Kay Thompson might have used – non? Very excited.

The pearl bracelets?


Those are new-to-teamgloria.

We bought them in honor/honour/celebration of Anita Loos to wear to see Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Aren’t they delicious? And the ballet slipper pashmina (very soft and pretty) was to go with the pearls.

Darlings we were a Little shocked that some people were in Cargo Shorts (and they weren’t members of the Armed Forces) at the Theatre this evening.

Kay Thompson would have raised a perfectly arched eyebrow.

Anita would have tossed her tiny liitle bobbed hair and very small satin pumps and made a little sigh.

But there again, she was More Worldly than one would think – towards the end of her life she was interviewed and asked if Gentlemen Still Preferred Blondes and she laughed and said something along the lines of “don’t Gentlemen Prefer Gentlemen these days?”


Lorelei wouldn’t have got that one.

Or maybe she would.

The alter-ego is not necessarily as bubble-licious as one might expect ;)

We must wend our way downtown again – we have breakfast at a 5 star Hotel with someone Very glam and fashionable and from Abroad.

Isn’t life divine?

looking awfully Lady-Mary takes a job at the BBC, today.

we just caught sight of ourselves in the posh elevators at the Day Job en route back to our Desk (having rushed out with a bag containing our swimsuit and hiding behind some Large Dark Glasses for “Lunch”) and realized we had a very specific “look” today –

it’s rather Lady-Mary takes-a-job-at-the-BBC – don’t you think?

or perhaps a spymaster general-turned-Dame

or the New ambassador in Paris (actually any of those would be lovely).

the original shot captured the Scar rather well but we felt a bit tearful so decided to Crop (the joy of Modern digital photography, darlings).

moving swiftly on…..(gulp)

our surgeon has decided we’re not getting well enough in the time allotted (he didn’t share That information with us before now…) so we’ve had to move our time-to-take-meds from early morning to just before bedtime.

in order to spur our memory and Avoid awkwardness we have been reduced to leaving little Alice in Wonderland notes around the house… this:

you see we can become Very Distracted when we fall in love with a new author, darlings.

when we were at Chelsea Market yesterday, with lady-of-letters and the sprite (in her mini cloche hat), we stopped in at Posman Books and the clerk recommended Simon Van Booy‘s collection of short stories – it’s beautiful and haunting and captivating and we’ve just tumbled into a new obsession (always fun).

you can read a little for yourself here:

of course we still have Lots of books waiting for us to return home after the Day Job (and something of a social outing first – must remember to nourish RL relationships, not just Those In Books although those are very important and enriching in themselves as you know).

a small amount of decoupage

as we eat our morning grapefruit, and “cool down” from the brisk five-thirty AM walk and twenty minutes of yoga before encasing ourselves in black, preparing for the sniper fire of midtown ahead, team gloria admires our own fruits of reflection this weekend…………….yes, we decoupage and we are not afraid to tell you.

ah – the black and white 1930s movies, sophia loren, catherine deneuve, los angeles at twilight (we took that one – it’s on our business card (giggle – gosh, no, not the day job card – that’s all crisp and white and has our RL name and title and a phone extension that our executive assistant answers to protect us from the world……) no – the team gloria cards.

isn’t life just delicious?

we WERE going to take this decoupage to work but we feel weird as there are certain rather high-maintenance people whom we would slap-wrists-if-they-picked-it-up.

and we are supposed to be mature.


that’s the idea.

don’t let them know ;)